The End Is In Sight For RHEL 3
It's doubtful that anyone really likes having to upgrade, but at some point it has to be done. For those particularly adverse to the upgrade — like enterprise users, with good reason — there are extra-long windows, but eventually even those windows close. Last week, Red Hat announced that the oldest of its supported platforms has officially entered the homestretch.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 was originally released in October 2003, when the kernel was still 2.4 and several of today's most popular distributions weren't even a twinkle in a developer's eye. As one might expect, quite a bit has changed in the Linux world over the past seven years.
Those still holding on to RHEL 3 will see at least a bit of the change come October, when the operating system will reach a well-deserved end-of-life. Per Red Hat's support policy, new software functionality has been unavailable since mid-2006, while minor releases, "new functionality, new hardware enablement [and] updated installation images" ceased in mid-2007.
According to Advisory RHSA-2010:0386-1, as of October 31st:
New bug fix, enhancement, and security errata updates, as well as technical support services will no longer be available for the following products:
- Red Hat Enterprise Linux AS 3
- Red Hat Enterprise Linux ES 3
- Red Hat Enterprise Linux WS 3
- Red Hat Enterprise Linux Extras 3
- Red Hat Desktop 3
- Red Hat Global File System 3
- Red Hat Cluster Suite 3
Those still running RHEL 3 in a production environment are strongly advised to begin moving to RHEL 5, itself three years into its seven year tenure. (RHEL 6 is currently in beta, with no official word on when a final version may be available.) Active Red Hat subscribers can update to any currently-maintained version at no cost.